Thursday, May 25, 2017

[Book Review] The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan

Book Review for The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan

I was a little nervous going into this book simply because I have read a ton of really bad books about vampires... However, my hesitation was totally forgotten as I began to read the very first chapter of The Beast of London. This was such a fun and action packed read! It was also beautifully written! If you're looking for a page-turning, dark adventure story, I would highly recommend this!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. 


The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan book image

The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan


Goodreads Summary: 
Mina Murray once lived an adventurous life, but after a tragedy in the forests of Transylvania, she left it all behind. Now she has settled into a quiet routine as a schoolteacher in London, engaged to the respectable solicitor Jonathan Harker, attempting to fit into the stuffy upper class London society to which he belongs. 

Her dark past comes careening into her present when Jonathan is abducted by a group of vampires from a society ball. Determined to rescue him, she teams up with her former paramour Abraham Van Helsing and his colleague, Scotland Yard Inspector John Seward. 

As they pursue Jonathan’s abductors from England to the Low Countries and beyond, Mina realizes that Jonathan’s abduction is tied to a larger threat against humanity…


My thoughts:
First of all, I need to say that I really enjoyed the writing! There were a couple of typos that I saw, and there was some repetition (more on that later). But over all, I thought that it was beautifully written. I really enjoyed the way the author handled description; whether that was the description of a person's appearance or the scenery. The action was also written wonderfully!

The storyline was great! It was all pretty fast paced, but not at all rushed. It really hooked me in early on and didn't let me go! This was a book that I was truly bummed to finish because I wanted to keep reading!

I loved the way that the author handled the characters early theories about how to kill vampires in a science lab setting. Having Abe's assistant, Greta, fill Mina in was a wonderful way to get the reader caught up while also keeping things interesting. This situation very easily could have strayed into info-dumping, and I am so glad that it did not!

I really enjoyed each of the characters and cannot wait to see them again in the second book! I loved that the author slowly gave us more and more of their backstories over the course of the book. This made me feel very antsy because I couldn't wait to learn more!

One of my favorite features of the characters were that they broke away from the typical gender norms of that era. Mina isn't a "proper" lady; she speaks her mind, travels, puts herself in danger, et cetera. And Abe isn't afraid to show emotion. For example, he cries when a friend has died and looks pained when he thinks of Mina's father.

I will admit that I was a bit nervous about the chemistry between Mina and Van Helsing. Of course, learning more of their backstory made me understand why this was the case. But I was worried that one of them was going to take things too far, with total disregard of Mina's fiancee. That being said, depending on how this series goes, and the actions that the characters take, I don't think I would be angry if they ended up together.


SPOILERS!! 
Please scroll below the stars and small text to avoid spoilers! 
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I really liked the addition of Mina's half brother, Gabriel, being part vampire! It was really interesting to meet his character as a vampire Hunter before we learned who he actually was. I also really enjoyed the fact that there was like another "breed" of vampires called feral that hadn't yet learned to control their thirst. Further, I loved the bit about a vampire baby being birthed rather than transformed.

Another thing that I cannot wait to learn more about as this series progresses is why Mina can feel when a vampire is nearby.

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Beware, the negatives:
My only complaint was that there was quite a bit of repetition.

In most cases, it was just the same words being used back to back when only one mention of that specific word was really necessary. For example: "Sit down," I urged, helping him to the floor and propping him gently against the wall. Abe leaned back against the wall, clutching his side before meeting my eyes, resolute." In the second sentence, "against the wall" could be removed so the same word isn't used so close together. Of course this makes sense as is, but for me personally, I think that removing that bit would make the section much stronger. Situations like this happened a few times throughout the book.

Other times, it was full phrases that got too repetitive for me. For example, how many times one of the character said or thought, "Gabriel had saved our lives twice now." But again, each mention made sense as is, it is just one of my personal irks.


My favorite passages:
In the three years since my father's death, I had come to learn that grief was an emotion without end, marked by continual waves of loss and despair that ebbed and flowed for years, like the ocean tides.

A strange sensation on the back of my neck pulled me from my thoughts, and I went still. It was the feeling of a cold case searing my skin; an odd bite of frost amidst the warmth of the day.

I took a faltering step back from Abe, shaking my head, as if to rid myself of the images. It could not be. Vampires were creatures of myth and nightmare; creatures who did not exist. Could not exist.

The stunning beauty of the waning day was a stark contrast to the horrors we'd just witnessed, as if nature itself wanted to wipe away the memory of those monstrosities.

"Roads like that are endless if you let yourself travel them."- Abe

"I just want to sop these bloody-" he began, abruptly stopping himself. "I'm sorry about the swearing, Mina. I keep forgetting you're a woman," he said, and then flushed. "Ah... I meant-"
"It's quite all right," I said. "You can swear around me, I won't disintegrate. Bloody hell, Jesus Christ, devil, damn. There. I'm still standing."

Abe's always willing to believe the impossible - the mark of a true scientist.

"Do not let conjecture turn into needless worry," Abe gently interrupted.

My ignorance now seemed to form a great abyss, and every time I bridged a small gap, it grew even greater still.


My final thoughts:
I would definitely recommend this book! It was just such a fun read. I gave this four stars! With just a few edits, this could definitely get a full five stars from me! :)

Thank you again to author, L.D. Goffigan for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful story. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series!

UPDATE: Click here to read my review of the second book, Fortress of Blood!


Thanks for reading!
What is your favorite novel about vampires?

Side note: This was also a buddy read with my friend Heather at Heather's Reading Hideaway! Check out her review here.
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4 comments:

  1. The Beast of London has intrigued me. I love vampire themed books and ones that are fun and page-turners.
    I'll have to add this to my TBR list. :)

    Dinh @Arlene's Book Club

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    1. Oh yay!! I can't wait to see what you think! I hope you love it at much as I did!

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  2. This was sooo good!! I am so excited to read the sequel soon! It's been so long since I have read a book about vampires and have been hooked.

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    1. Same!! I'm so pumped for the second book!

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